Snowman Buttoning Mat

Hi friends! I’ve been so busy working on projects and rather than wait to have something completely finished (because who knows when that will happen!) I decided to post my WIP along with the pattern pieces.

My 6 year old is showing some signs of weakness in her little fingers so I’ve been coming up with some fine-motor fun for her. I made this snowman buttoning mat with big and little buttons to help her practice both sizes. She can have fun dressing up her winter friend by matching the colors of the felt with the colors of the  buttons, or just doing her own thing! There is a little birdy who keeps the snowman company, and a mug of warm cocoa to drink.

{click for printable pdf file}


– cut 2 pieces of 14×16″ cotton fabric for the background

– cut a 13×15″ piece of interfacing or fusible fleece

– use templates to cut felt pieces (I used wool felt for added durability and ironed freezer paper to the back before tracing and cutting)
~there is no pattern piece for the snow, but you can cut a piece of white felt as wide as your cotton backing fabric and about 6 1/2″ tall, then cut a slight curve into it

– once you’ve fused your interfacing/fleece onto the back of your fabric, use a zigzag stitch to secure your snowy background, snowman, and hat into place.

– use embroidery floss to hand-stitch your buttons into place, leaving just the slightest gap so that the buttons can be easily manipulated by little hands…Make sure you use bigger buttons for the bigger pieces and smaller for the small pieces

– the arms and mouth will also need to be stitched on by hand

– when all of your stitching is done, face your cotton pieces right sides together. Pin two pieces of about 6-8″ ribbon together at the top and in between the layers

– using a 1/2″ seam allowance, sew around the mat leaving a gap between your starting and stopping points for turning

– turn the fabric right-side-out, press, and top stitch all around making sure to close that gap

* these are pretty down-and-dirty directions, but I think you’ll get the gist of it…If not, please feel free to ask away in the comments!


Velveteen Jumper and Printed Jammies (KCWC Days 3 & 4)

I was working like a  madwoman yesterday and wasn’t able to update on my progress, but I’m back today with two completed projects!

The first is a romper made from a soft velveteen with the daintiest little floral print that gives it such a sweet feminine touch, which I love.

It’s  a pretty no-frills little number but I think a sweet top with a peter pan collar would be a great addition to it.  The pictures here are prior to top-stitching and zipper installation, which I finished up today. I couldn’t be bothered to take new pictures of it today because I had already moved on to these jammies!

This is a completely handprinted set made of a repurposed long white t-shirt for the pants, and a freezer paper stenciled black (store-bought) shirt for the top.

The handiest way I have found to do hand-stamping is to cut some adhesive foam sheets into whatever shape you need and attach a couple layers of the the foam shape onto an empty spool! Very convenient. I really loved this kitty dress on Pinterest, and had been wanting to try the sleeves-into-shirt thing, so the kitty jammies were born.

By the way, I could not get the Panther Stamps Pants song by Gustafer Yellowgold out of my head the whole time I was making these!

And the pants fit…mostly.  :)

I’ve been working at my dining room table, and, aside from the fact that my family is tired of eating at our kids’ IKEA table, I’m a little burnt out and think I’m going to take a sewing break for a couple days. I still have a couple items on my list for KCWC, but they’ll have to wait ’til the weekend.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a list of some of my favorite recent posts from around the way!

Two Simple Skirts (KCWC Day 1)

I’m popping in late tonight after a day of sewing and tending to a “sick” child who was most definitely faking it for a day home with Mommy. I was easily able to finish off these two skirts today in a matter of a couple house, including cutting.

I think these skirts are tied at first for the easiest skirts to make, ever.  There’s really not much to them at all. The one on the left uses the same method I used in this tutorial for a no-hem skirt.  And while the skirt on the right has a hem, the stretchy-knit waistband takes all the fussy-ness out of pushing elastic through a small casing.  Easy. Peasy. (skirt on the right based on this skirt from Trula:Kids)

Here’s my little chicadee who decided to change right into the first skirt I finished.

I can’t believe it’s only the first day and I’m already behind. I had planned on completing 3 skirts today, then jumping right into a dress tomorrow. Hopefully my little one will be ready to return to school tomorrow and I can get a little caught up.

Are you playing along? How has the first day been for you? Do you have big plans for this week?

KCWC at Elsie Marlie

If you sew and have kids you will definitely want to join in on this big sewing party! Meg (Elsie Marley) hosts the Kids Clothes Week Challenge twice each year, Spring and Fall, and it’s basically 7 days of frenzied sewing. It’s always fun to join in with other sewists on the same mission and see what everyone else is making.

I think I end up putting all of my kids’ sewing off until this challenge, because I know I’ll be more likely to get it done! I’m still collecting ideas and patterns, but here is a bit of inspiration from my Little Girly Style board on Pinterest, which I’m sure to be pulling from during this little sewing stint.

little girly style pinterest sources: 1.via  2. Etsy shop Heart and Sew  3. Tree Fall Studio  4. Party of Eight  5. via  6. Oliver + S  7. via

Meg also just put together a KCWC pin board, so be sure to check that out for tons of inspiration!

I tend to focus on girly stuff since that’s what I have, but I’ll be sure to put together some rockin’ boy stuff soon!

My Favorite Go To Patterns

Digital download sewing patterns are one of my absolute favorite things in the world!

Now, first let me start off by saying I love Etsy for so many reasons, and I shop there often. But for sewing patterns, shops that offer instant downloads are the way to go, my friends!

Not only to they allow me to shop a selection patterns in my jammies, but I can start making the project immediately, without having to wait for someone to send me an email! (I’m a notorious procrastinator and I have a history of starting projects at the 11th hour.)

Go To Patterns is a pattern shop launched this summer by Andrea from The Train to Crazy.  A collection of her patterns would be pretty cool by itself, but her new shop offers patterns from many designers, which is pretty darn awesome and makes for a wonderful selection of sewing patterns!

Here are some of my favorites that I can’t wait to try:

The first, of course, is the Go To Signature Dress pattern

signature dress go to patternsYou really have to check out the many variations of this dress! Check out the blog tour too to get a sense of what you can do with it.

and more…


As you can see, Go To Patterns has a wonderful assortment of patterns for boys and girls, including garments and soft toys! (they also offer patterns for grown-ups, but I primarily sew for my kiddos)

Now is an excellent time to check it out because they are offering a sale from now until October 1st….10% off with the code FALL12 !


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